Stability and Bugs.
In the initial release, yes, I did managed
to find a couple of bugs. One particularly annoying one was that sometimes
after applying a fill, the fill would not show/update in the active
document. Repeating the fill overcame this but then I would need to
undo one step. Or, clicking on a different object in the Objects Docker
and then back on the newly filled one caused the document to refresh
Occasionally PP9 would crash
unexpectedly. This happened more often when making small adjustments
to settings or object position using the keyboard arrow keys, or when
repeatedly altering then undoing the same command over and over again
to test variations on an idea, particularly with text. I found that
some other programs appear to cause PP9 to behave badly. My son bought
a new high powered game which required a 3D card (and therefore simply
HAD to be installed on my main graphics box). This game caused all sorts
of problems to the graphics subsystem of the computer after it had been
run and then crashed at least once. Even the presence of this program
on the computer (without running it) caused graphics headaches. The
only solution was to remove the game entirely. All of the graphics-related
problems ceased immediately!.
I think that at least some
of the few problems I have experienced with PP9 may be related to some
general hardware problems in my computer (and possibly some software
conflicts - see below). I use an overclocked Celeron 300A (making it
run at 450 MHz), an ASUS 3400TV-capture (16 Mb, Riva TNT1 chip) video
card, 256 MB 100 MHz SD Ram, a Turtle Beach (Aureal A3D) sound system,
and the computer is fully networked including a Virtual Motion Internet
Lanbridge client for shared dialup Internet access. Generally it is
a relatively complex system and has a LOT of graphics programs installed
including 3D Studio Max, Bryce 4, Painter, Premier, Video Studio, Boris,
Hollywood, and many many other graphics programs plus Corel WP Office
2000. I am truly surprised that I have as few problems as I do on this
machine and I honestly believe that most if not all of any problems
I have had are probably not directly related to PP9 but are more likely
due to my computer's complexity, or the result of general instabilities
in the MS Windows 98 operating system. I intend to move to Linux when
Corel completes their Draw and Paint Linux ports.
There was quite a deal
of discussion on the Corel Draw User Group's (CDUG) email LIST regarding
people experiencing difficulties or crashes with both PP9 and Draw 9
often after having installed or reinstalled MS Office 2000. I think
the general consensus was that MS Office 2000 installation interfered
badly with some DLL files essential to the operation of other programs.
The overall suggestion to fix any problems arising after an MS Office
2000 install was to then reinstall both Draw 9 and PP9 to correct most
problems. Luckily the Corel install is fairly straightforward and quick
and can be done while you have a short break to make the coffee or tea.
Also, Corel 9 includes a freshen files type option in the install routine
which checks installed files and replaces them with fresh ones if required.
In terms of stability I
think PP9 is pretty good for a first release and it hasn't caused me
too many problems. Corel always works hard on customer suggestions and
satisfaction so I would expect any minor bugs to be fixed fairly quickly
in new rebuilds. The Draw 9 suite inserts a direct link to Corel's update
site on your desktop during installation, making it easy to get the
Service Packs 1 and 2 and other downloadable files:
Corel Corporation has released 2 Service Packs and several other files for users of Corel Draw 9 suite, which includes Photo-Paint updates.
All Draw 9 suite patch files can be found at:
The main Service Packs (SP) for version 9 are the files: GR9SP1EN.exe (SP1 = 13MB) and GR9SP2EN.exe (SP2, approx 40 MB)
After applying SP1 the new Build number is : 397 (9.397).
To view your current product Build Number when using the program, goto Help > About Corel Photo-Paint. The build number is just under the scrolling text section.
After applying SP2 the build number should read 439 (9.439).
The Service Packs fix almost all of the problems mentioned above. The updates also improves application performance
and overall I am very pleased with the performance and
speed of PP9 in general.
Overall Rating (my totally biassed opinion):
* * * * (five stars !)
Should you upgrade or buy it?
Thanks Corel for another
excellent piece of really useful software.
David Mutch, July- October,
1999. Updated 2000 and 2001.